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Get Merry With New Spotify Holiday Singles From Laufey, Kirk Franklin, Ezra Collective, and Panter Blico

14/11/2023

As the year draws to a close, you might be excitedly getting ready for the holidays. And whether you're spending time with family or celebrating with friends, you know your gatherings aren't complete without a great soundtrack.

To help start your merrymaking right, we're back with another edition of Spotify Holiday Singles. This year, we invited jazz starlet Laufey, gospel legend Kirk Franklin, eclectic fusion quintet Ezra Collective, and rising M sica Mexicana star Panter B lico to record a cover of a classic holiday hit or an original song that channels the spirit of the season.

The end result is four new singles, each with its own distinct sound, making any time the perfect time to enjoy some festive vibes. Here's what each of our featured artists had to say about their Spotify Holiday Singles.

Winter Wonderland Laufey

Raised between Iceland and the U.S., Laufey is a classically trained cellist and pianist who has quickly become a household name since stepping onto the scene in 2020 with her hit Street by Street. As a kid, she became hooked on jazz standards after digging through her dad's record collection, and now she is the most-streamed jazz artist on Spotify thanks to hit singles like Let You Break My Heart Again and record-breaking albums like Bewitched.

For her Spotify Holiday Single, Laufey reaffirmed her love of jazz standards with her cover of the timeless Winter Wonderland.

Why did you choose Winter Wonderland? I chose to cover Winter Wonderland because it captures the essence and warmth of Christmastime at my family's home in Iceland.

What's your favorite holiday tradition? It has to be giving and receiving books on Christmas Eve. Nothing beats sitting down with my family on Christmas Day and diving into the books by the tree.

Joy To The World Kirk Franklin

Since bursting onto the scene 30 years ago, Kirk Franklin has successfully bridged the worlds of gospel, pop, hip-hop, and R&B, steadily delivering a parade of hits to fans around the world. The 19-time Grammy winner first made his mark with his 1993 debut album, Kirk Franklin & The Family, and he hasn't looked back since. Just last month, the legend released Father's Day, his 14th studio album.

And for this year's round of Spotify Holiday Singles, Franklin chose to bring good tidings with his gospel-infused cover of Joy To The World.

Why did you choose Joy To The World? I chose Joy to the World because the world could always use a little more joy. Christmas is my favorite time of year because it's a time where people are more optimistic. I want to get the message out there for everyone to spread a bit of joy everywhere they go, today and every day of the year.

What's your favorite holiday tradition? I love being with my family and giving them the holiday specials that I never had growing up. Whether that's eating too much good food or giving them too many gifts. It's the time where I really get to show my family how much I love and appreciate them for their constant love and support.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Ezra Collective

Since coming together in 2016, London ensemble Ezra Collective has become known for their distinct fusion of Black genres like jazz, grime, and Afrobeat. Last year the group, which consists of drummer and bandleader Femi Koleoso, bassist TJ Koleoso, keyboardist Joe Armon-Jones, trumpeter Ife Ogunjobi, and tenor saxophonist James Mollison, released its third album, Where I'm Meant To Be, featuring collaborations with like-minded artists Sampa The Great, Kojey Radical, Emeli Sand , and Nao.

And for their Spotify Holiday Single, the quintet lent its talent to a cover of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

Why did you choose the song you covered? Femi: Christmas music is all about carols. The simplicity of them, but also the beauty in the melodies. I guess also growing up in church, around the Christmas period it's the carols I would hear. For us, this tune is a really wavy carol, such a beautiful melody. So much to interpret and make your own.

What's a holiday tradition of yours? Femi: It has to be the Ezra Collective Office Party. We have no office, but the name just makes it sound more grown up. It's just an opportunity to eat and drink together. Secret Santa, and most importantly whatever that year has been, a moment to be grateful and thank one another.

Un Vaquero En Navidad Panter B lico

Just 21 years old, Panter B lico has become one of the leading lights of the M sica Mexicana scene. The former Grupo Arriesgado member broke through as a solo artist earlier this year, topping charts with hits like LA 701 and S mbolo Sexual, along with releasing his debut album, Punto Y Aparte.

For this year's edition of Spotify Holiday Singles, the rising star took a different approach and contributed an original song: Un Vaquero En Navidad.

What was the inspiration for Un Vaquero En Navidad ? When they asked me to record an original Christmas corrido, I thought I'd go outside of the traditional and tell a story about something I'm passionate about, which is horses. I imagined being a cowboy at Christmas time, and that's where the lyrics came from. And with my musicians, we realized that the northern cumbia style was best for the period.

What's your favorite holiday tradition? Like everyone, we spend the night of the 24th having a traditional family dinner. We open gifts the morning of the 25th and get together that day for a reheated meal.

Keep this year's holiday celebrations turned up to 11 with Spotify Singles: Holiday Collection, featuring our full catalog of original songs and covers.
LINK: https://newsroom.spotify.com/2023-11-14/holiday-singles-laufey-kirk-fr...
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